Preferring time alone
AS puppies grow into dogs, they mature to the point of not wanting to socialise in the same manner as they once did, which is normal and expected.
It is the same for people. When you’re young, you meet up with other youngsters – at the park, on the playground, etc. Children chase each other and rough-house, which builds strength and co-ordination. They play with toys, they learn to share, they practise actions that will be accepted by others, and learn to modify behaviour that gets them into trouble. In short, child’s play teaches life skills, in physical and emotional ways.
As adults, our style of play and interaction with others changes. Playground romps turn into family BBQs. You socialise with others you find enjoyable; you share stories. You learn how to seek out compatible friends at cocktail parties, and you’d likely be not only surprised but angry if someone tackled you like they did as a child during horseplay at the local park.
This same maturation process happens with dogs. Puppies go through a very social period of development – learning how to play with one another, how to share, life lessons like “if I bite too hard, no one will play with me”.
As they mature, they turn to more adult behaviours, some of which are influenced by inherited genetic traits. The sporting breeds will naturally want to look for and flush game; the herding breeds will want to chase and move others; the guarding breeds will become more serious and begin to guard. This is the natural course of maturation.
Of course, there are always exceptions. Some dogs do enjoy an extended period into adulthood where being social and playful with other dogs is still enjoyable. This most often occurs in the breeds that are selectively bred to be mild-mannered, like Labrador and Golden retrievers, etc. But most dogs eventually outgrow the desire to have lots of social contact with other dogs.
So, it is no surprise that for a puppy that has grown into a dog, being placed in an environment with other dogs of various ages and play skills is no longer his favourite thing. It’s the owner’s job to interpret his pet’s behaviour and “read” what he is saying. Dogs that are not enjoying themselves among a group of others will often hang out at the perimeter, spend more time sniffing and investigating the environment, and may snap at or chase off others if they come too close or persist in instigating play. The dog isn’t behaving badly; he’s simply trying to communicate.
Want to do the very best for your dog? “Listen” to what he is saying. Make more one-on-one time for him. Give him the exercise and attention he needs, from you. Teach him some tricks and play games with him to keep him mentally stimulated. Hire a neighbour or a dog-walker to give him exercise and attention in a way he prefers. And when it comes to day care or dog parks, remember that it’s not about your wants or needs – it’s about what is best for your dog. – The Modesto Bee/Tribune News Service
You can hire a neighbour or a petsitter to give your dog some exercise and attention.